A NEW APPROACH TO VEGETABLE VARIETY EVALUATIONS FOR THE HOME GARDEN

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  • 1 Salt Lake Cooperative Extension, Salt Lake City, UT 84190-6350
  • 2 Utah State Dept. of Corrections, Draper, UT 84120

Conducting varietal evaluations for the home vegetable garden are time-consuming, labor-intensive, and costly. As a result, most are done on an observational basis only. In 1991, a horticultural training program modeled after the highly successful Master Gardener program began at the Utah State Prison, Draper, for the prison inmate population. In 1994, 12 broccoli, 20 pepper, and 30 tomato varieties commonly used in the home garden were evaluated for growth and yield at the Prison Farm. Inmates raised, tended, harvested, and compiled the trial's data and participated in all evaluations of the varieties. Extension personnel provided the instruction and regular visits to conduct the trial. The project provides instruction on vegetable production and cultivar evaluations to the inmates while providing the public with needed cultivar information for the home garden. In addition, the partnership with the inmate population limits the time inputs necessary to conduct the trials by extension staff. This project will continue and greatly expand in 1995.

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